4 million poor Filipinos more

Mar. 16, 2015

A recent survey showed four million Filipinos add to the more than 20 million poorest Filipinos who cannot afford the daily P293-cost living.

Results of 2014 survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on March 6, showed poverty incidence among Filipino families worsened to 20% in the first half of 2014 from 18.8% in 2013 while the subsistence incidence rose from 7.5% in 2013 to 7.6% this year.

The result also showed incomes of poor families were short by 27% of the average poverty threshold of P8,778/month or P293/day for a family of five in the first semester of 2014. This means, on the average, an additional P2,370 was needed by a poor worker and his family with five members in order to move out of poverty, said the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa). The group urged the government on Monday to take immediate solutions.

In the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, the highest minimum wage in all 17 regions, government said the real value of the current P466 minimum daily wage is P356.64 or P7,846.08 a month or P932 short of the poverty threshold. The same survey showed 10.5% of the working population whose income cannot afford even the food threshold alone.

The poorest is in Yolanda-hit Eastern Visayas region with 2.2 milion families who cannot afford the minimum amount of P293/daily amount. The current real value of the P280 daily minimum wage is P184/day.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) cited the rapid rise in food prices and the lingering effects of typhoon Yolanda as key reasons poverty worsened. Rice prices alone increased to 11.9% in the first semester of 2014 to 1.7% in the same period of 2013.

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